This year I have made a commitment to making as many of the gifts that I give by hand. Not only are we saving a ton of money doing this, but the gifts mean so much more! I love being creative with what I make for my family and friends and I hope they are enjoying them. I made this awesomely cute dinosaur for my nephew's first birthday. I can't believe how great it turned out!
It really is a simple project, I made it in about three hours (may have taken less time if I had some clue about what I was doing.) I dare you to take this project on!
I have to apologize, I don't have any process photos because I made this gift last minute and I didn't take the time to photograph the steps. I do plan on making another dino for my son and I will take process photos then and get them up here for clarity's sake.
ConCon the Dino Tutorial
What you will need:
- 1/4 yard or 1 fat quater of quilting cotton (body)
- 1/4 yard or 1 fat quater of quilting cotton (underbelly)
- 1/4 yard or 1 fat quater of quilting cotton (plates ruffle)
- Poly craft and pillow stuffing
- The Usual Stuff (sewing machine, hand sewing needle, fabric scissors, paper scissors, straight pins, matching thread, pencil, paper, tape)
Print out the pattern pages on full sheets of printer paper (8.5x11). Line up the pattern pieces and tape along the tape lines. Tape on both sides of the paper. Cut out the pattern pieces with paper scissors.
Pin the pattern pieces (body and underbelly) in place on your fabric and cut them out. For the plates ruffle, cut three strips that are 3"x23".
Stitch the three plates ruffle pieces together. Place the right sides together and stitch along the short ends using a 1/4" seam allowance. You will end up with a long strip of fabric.
Now fold the long strip of fabric together, long ways and right sides out, press and pin. Stitch using a 1/4" seam allowance, or serge. I found it easier to serge, because then I wasn't dealing with fraying edges, but if you don't have a serger don't worry about it.
Stitch two gathering stitches along the bottom edge of the ruffle. (A gathering stitch is just the longest stitch that your machine will do, usually a 5 or 6. You stitch two lines of these very long stitches about 3/8" apart, do not backstitch. There is a really gathering stitch tutorial here.)
Pull the gathering stitches slowly and gently moving the fabric along the stitches so that the ruffle is formed. It will be very full.
Sandwich the ruffle between the two body pieces, starting at the curve where the neck becomes the back. Pin the ruffle in place all along the back of the dinosaur's back and tail. About 5" from the tip of the tail, slop the ruffle down so that it gets shorter as the tail gets thinner.
Using a basting stitch (a very wide stitch length and no back stitching), stitch along the top half of the body using 1/2" seam allowance. Turn the body right sides out and make sure the ruffle looks good and it is evenly ruffled all along the body.
Turn inside out again. Pin the rest of the body together, from under the neck and around the head to the whole tail. Make sure that the ruffle is stuffed inside and will not get caught by the stitching on the underside of the tail. Pin the underbelly in place, it should reach from the mid-neck to the mid-tail and be pinned to the feet.
Stitch all around the dinosaur using 1/2" seam allowance. Leave about 2" at one of the underbelly sides for turning. Again be careful not to catch the ruffle (I did this, thats why I'm being so pushy about it.)
Turn the dinosaur right sides out and make sure everything is stitched properly (the ruffle isn't caught). If everything turned out alright, turn the dino back insides out and trim the seams to about 1/4" and clip the corners. If something is messed up, this is your chance to fix it before you cut your seam allowance.
Turn the dino right sides out and poke out your corners. I usually use a dull pencil point or the point of my scissors, but you really shouldn't use these items for this purpose, because there is a chance you would poke a hole in your corner. They make point turners that are specifically for this purpose, I should get one.
Stuff the dino until it is a full as you like. Stitch the turning hole closed using a whip stitch (easier) or a ladder stitch (a little more time consuming, but looks nicer.)
There you go! A sweet little dino ready to be loved.
I hope you enjoy making a dino of your own.
Let me know if you make one, I would love to see what you come up with!